From the African American who owned much of what is now the San Fernando Valley in the 1790s to the high school student who has devoted himself to keeping his peers out of gangs, people of African descent in the Valley have a long, proud history.
In this special report, we look back at some of that history and--with the help of several voices from the present--turn to the future.
IDA KENNEY / 'Drugs Are Our Worst Enemy'
Ida Kenney, 86, is a member of the Pacoima Over 50 Seniors Club and one of the founding members of the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church--the first African American church in the San Fernando Valley.
"The drugs are our worst enemy because the young people are destroying their lives and they won't be able to participate in society. These young people are involved in dope and they destroy their minds. Then all they want to do is rob and steal.